Monday, December 10, 2007

Orientalism Dogmas

Said explains the dogmas of Orientalism laconically in the pages 300-301;

1. the absolute difference between the West, which is rational, developed, humane, superior, and the Orient, which is aberrant, undeveloped, inferior.
2. the abstractions about the Orient, particularly those based on texts representing a “classical” Oriental civilization, are always preferable to direct evidence drawn from modern Orient realities.
3. the Orient is eternal, uniform, and incapable of defining itself; therefore it is assumed that a highly generalized and systematic vocabulary for describing the Orient from a Western standpoint is inevitable and even scientifically “objective.”
4. the Orient is at bottom something either to be feared (the Yellow Peril, the Mongol hordes, the brown dominions) or to be controlled (by pacification, research and development, outright occupation whenever possible).

Apparently, the clinic is closed today. I made four calls, three in the morning and another in the afternoon, but nobody answered.

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